Mayhem erupted at Meiran area of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, last night and today after a policeman attached to Meiran Police Division shot dead the Chairman of Tricycle association in the area.
The victim, Dele Oroja, 33, was shot dead at Ile-Ewe Bus Stop, Meiran around 9.00 p.m. by Corporal Abbey after a mild brawl.
Hundreds of residents in the area took to the streets immediately the incident occurred yesterday and the protest continued this morning.
The brother to the deceased, Segun Oroja, told P.M.NEWS that he was at the scene of the incident yesterday when Dele was driving his new tricycle from a place they had gone to buy ram feed.
Segun stated that there was a disagreement between his brother and an okada rider.
He added that the killer cop intervened and shot Dele on the lap, adding that while the policeman took to his heels, his brother was rushed to the hospital where he died this morning. As news about his death spread, it sparked widespread protest last night and this morning.
Residents fled into their homes last night when the shooting occurred. As protest erupted, no vehicle could ply the major road in the area. Motorists going to Meiran bus stop had to take inner routes to get to their destinations while those coming late from work were stranded.
The protest escalated this morning as irate youths in their hundreds barricaded Meiran and Ekoro road at Ile-Ewe junction and burnt several tyres on the road, calling for the prosecution of the culprit.
Several vehicles were vandalised by the irate mob who also and set ablaze a cabin where policemen in the area drink beer.
Trouble was said to have started when the killer-cop stopped an okada rider in a bid to extort money from him, causing a mild traffic in the area. The late Oroja was said to have come out of his tricycle and asked the police to take the bike man aside so that he and others could move.
The policeman was alleged to have engaged in a scuffle with the tricycle chairman during which the policeman was said to have shot the tyre of the tricycle and that while the victim protested, the policeman was said to have aimed his gun at him and shot him as well, fatally injuring him.
He was rushed to a hospital where he died this morning.
Oroja’s corpse has been deposited at the morgue of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH.
As at this morning, over 40 policemen from the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, were deployed to the area to maintain peace while two Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, were stationed at Ile-Iwe bus stop.
The entire road from Ile-Ewe to the last bus stop was littered with broken bottles used by the protesters.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tunde Sobulo and the Area Commander and other top police officers were at the scene of the event to ensure peace in the area.
The killer-cop has been arrested by the Area ‘M’ Commander and detained at the command’s office at Idimu.
Father of the deceased, Prince Samuel Oroja, lamented the killing of his son, saying that he wants justice to be done at all costs, adding that his son was a complete gentleman who could not hurt anybody.
Uncle to the deceased, Kole Ologun described the killing as callous, saying that Oroja was killed even while he was innocent and unarmed.
As a result of the incident, tricycle operators in the area had stopped working in solidarity with the killing of their chairman.
As at the time of filing this report, more armed policemen were still being deployed to the area to maintain peace, while business activities ceased.
The Divisional Police Officer, Meiran Police Station, Chioma Ajunwa, was not around as she was said to be on maternity leave.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Ngozi Braide, when contacted, said she was not aware that Meiran was boiling as a result of the killing.
Oroja left behind a fiancée who is seven months pregnant.